Istanbul & Its Street Art Culture

Mural 3The attraction of living in a foreign city for most, is the opportunity to experience a new culture and way of life. Istanbul offers this in abundance, due for the large part, to its straddling of two continents and its historic, strategic importance for the Romans, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires.

 

But culture comes in many shapes and forms and isn’t necessarily confined to food, religion or nationality. Art has long been a strong influence within culture whether it be music, poetry or painting, but as times change, culture changes with it and this artistic expression manifests itself in different ways.

Wall paintings date back some 40,000 years in both Europe and Asia, but the modern day graffiti artist is often thought of as a blight on society. Without the consent of the owner, as is often the case, graffiti is a criminal offence and punishable by law. However it provides the less privileged in particular, with a vehicle to express underlying social and political angst.

Particularly in recent years, street artists such as Banksy, have seen graffiti and street paintings become a legitimate form of art, with his work now fetching a high price. Major cities around the world have become a blank canvass and Istanbul is one of those leading an artistic revolution.

Mural 2

Since 2012 Istanbul has held the Mural-Ist Festival, organised by the Kadıköy Municipality in the Anatolian side of the city, it celebrates street art through the creation of enormous wall paintings.

 

 

The aim is to brighten up some of the city’s more subdued areas, filling blank walls with vast amounts of colour, each narrating their own story. Once again the festival will bring as many as 10 mural artists from around the world, keen to make Istanbul their blank canvass, with each artists taking around 10 days to complete each masterpiece.

One such mural painted by Polish artist M-City at last year’s festival, was considered one of the best of its kind worldwide.

Not only are these works of art becoming a thread in the fabric of Istanbul, but it demonstrates the city’s open minded approach and acceptance of new forms of expression. This makes it a desirable location of many, not just the artistically inclined and should serve Istanbul well in the future.

If you want a first-hand experience of Istanbul’s street art, Lilimont have a number of properties within the vicinity of some of these artworks and the expertise to help you secure one.

Take Galata for example.

We’re listing this spectacular penthouse flat with panoramic views of the Golden Horn. This fifth floor, two bedroom apartment is one of a kind and packed with historical character.

We’re also listing this sleek penthouse flat, again in Galata, for 350,000 Euro. Offering a mix of regal, historic architecture with a sleek, contemporary design.

Both properties aren’t to be missed and both lie a stone’s throw away from one of our favourite Istanbul street murals!

Panda mural

Elections and a good Istanbul Property deal.

First of all, it would be hard not to mention the elections just past, which seemed to have fixed the attention of the entire country.

looking serious

looking serious

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looks pleased with himself

The big surprise was that the AK party lost its majority and may need to form a coalition, something that has not happened in more than a decade.

The next 45 days look as if there will be a fair amount of uncertainty. Nonetheless, if the bickering that was so present during campaigning can be put aside, then there may be a resumption to a new kind of normal. Distant memories of weak and ineffective coalitions haunt the minds of many Turks, yet there is no reason to be sure that history will always repeat itself. Pessimism at this point is premature. As Abullah Gul wisely said, now is the time to focus on making things work. Indeed.

The first reaction of the markets seemed to indicate some panic and fear, but it has been far from free fall, suggesting that the sentiment is not as dire as it could have been. And voter turnout? Turkey must have one of the highest voting rates in the world, coming in at over a whopping 80%. That suggests that some parts of the democratic system are working just fine. Now if only the politicians could start being a little more collegial to one another!

As you may have noticed, from time to time we feature a property in the blog. Usually, we select this property in Istanbul carefully. Our criteria are essentially that it be an attractive property in some fashion and also makes for a good Istanbul investment vehicle.

This week, we are putting forth a one bedroom apartment just off Omer Hayam in The Aynali Cesme neighborhood.

pretty istanbul property

pretty istanbul property

This property in Istanbul was renovated from A to Z three years ago and remains in top condition. It is 65 square meters with an open kitchen plan and windows facing lively, colorful and vibrant Tarlabasi. In the evening sun, the view of dilapidated old Istanbul buildings in Tarlabasi is suffused with other-worldly hues. It really is a fantastic and nostalgic view for those appreciating this side of Istanbul life. feature-540x359

The asking price is 115,000 euro and it rents out strongly at 1500-1700 TL. It is also being offered with all furnishings. At a roughly 6-6.5 percent yield, this makes for an investment that provides immediate and steady returns. Being in a historical Istanbul building, the flat has high exposed vaulted ceilings and original wood flooring.

Galatasaray, at the midpoint on Istiklal, is a mere 5 minute walk.

This school has been around since the 15th century

Galatasaray school has been around since the 15th century

The price represents the entry level for properties in the area, so it is ideal for those seeking to take that first step on the Istanbul property ladder.

An optimistic view would look past the immediate political instability as a long term view points to democracy working in Turkey as opposed to a good amount of other countries. The political middle ground will most likely be found relatively soon followed by economic stability and in a relatively short time investments such as the property above could well look like shining stars against a backdrop of over leveraged Western property investments. Warren Buffets quote springs to mind – ‘Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful’.

www.lilimont-istanbul-realestate.com